Stylish historical fiction in the tradition of True Grit and Carter Beats the Devil, A Hanging at Cinder Bottom is an epic novel of exile and retribution, a heist tale and a love story both.The year is 1910. Halley’s Comet has just signaled the end of the world, and Jack Johnson has knocked out the “Great White Hope,” Jim Jeffries. Keystone, West Virginia, is the region’s biggest boomtown, and on a rainy Sunday morning in August, its townspeople are gathered in a red-light district known as Cinder Bottom to witness the first public hanging in over a decade. Abe Baach and Goldie Toothman are at the gallows, awaiting their execution. He’s Keystone’s most famous poker player; she’s the madam of its most infamous brothel. Abe split town seven years prior under suspicion of armed robbery and murder, and has been playing cards up and down the coast, hustling under a variety of pseudonyms, ever since. But when he returns to Keystone to reunite with Goldie and to set the past right, he finds a brother dead and his father’s saloon in shambles?and suspects the same men might be responsible for both. Only then, in facing his family’s past, does the real swindle begin.
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Glenn Taylor is the author of the novels The Marrowbone Marble Company and The Ballad of Trenchmouth Taggart, a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award. He was born and raised in Huntington, West Virginia, and he now lives with his wife and three sons in Morgantown, where he teaches at West Virginia University.Review:
“Public hangings, outlaws, and brothels figure into Taylor's lyrical, funny story.” (Entertainment Weekly, Top Pick in Paperback)
“Much of [A Hanging at Cinder Bottom] is devoted to one long con, and this has its pleasures--a sort of Appalachian 'Ocean's Eleven'--but...what makes [Cinder Bottom] a bone-through, can't-quit-you craving is Taylor's preternatural gift for language.” (New York Times Book Review)
“As complex (and frail) as . . . an Elmore Leonard novel. . . This ingeniously structured novel is a lot of fun ? if you like card tricks and whiskey and the story of people with nothing who are trying to pull off a big one.” (Los Angeles Times)
“Taylor has a gift for language . . . Like Portis's True Grit, [A Hanging at Cinder Bottom is] an American fable told with literary nuance.” (Kirkus)
“Taylor has written a sprawling, lively, serio-comic mountaineer novel set in his native West Virginia. [...] The backwoods humor is somewhat reminiscent of Daniel Woodrell, which includes flatulence jokes and over-the-top bedlam as Taylor closes out his rollicking yarn with poetic justice.” (Publishers Weekly)
“Glenn Taylor’s new novel defies classification or clichés. It’s like being dropped into a world, and having that world continue around you in its maelstrom and hilarity while you are stunned. It will clean your clock, fix your wagon, and knock you out.” (Susan Straight, author of Between Heaven and Here)
“It's not enough to say Glenn Taylor is a brilliant writer. He's that rarity nowadays, a great storyteller. 'It was the day on which a game of stud poker commenced in Keystone that would last thirteen years.' I'm not lying when I say the rest of A Hanging at Cinder Bottom is just as irresistible. You'll never have a better time at a hanging.” (Stewart O'Nan, author of A Prayer for the Dying)
“Once again, Taylor takes us to a place and time that could easily be overlooked and forgotten, transforming the terrain and its locals into avatars for all humanity?yet he does so without losing their particular, essential qualities. The vivacity of his writing is rivaled only by the vibrancy of the story.” (Bethanne Patrick, The Book Maven)
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Book Description HARPER COLLINS. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # P110008104808